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Explaining the 7 Chakras

7 chakra balancing chakras introduction to chakras what are the chakras

Chakra workshop at Yoga Six St. Louis

I recently took a chakra workshop at my fabulous yoga studio (props pictured above), and it made me realize: the word “chakra” seems to be everywhere lately. 

Maybe you’ve been hearing about chakra balancing, or maybe you’ve noticed the stylish chakra tank worn by the dancing warrior on the mat next to you (true story – I need this yoga top!).

Yes, the 7 chakra symbols look colorful and exotic.  But do you know what they signify? If not, that’s totally ok! That’s what this blog post is for.

I’ve been practicing yoga for almost ten years now, and began to delve deeper into the 7 chakras while choosing gemstones for my yoga-inspired jewelry designs.  These healing stones correspond to each of the 7 chakras, which makes their uses and significance all the more powerful.

Basically, chakra balancing is just another way to deepen our understanding of ourselves.  When everything’s going right, you experience a feeling of clarity and well-being. Your muscles relax. You’re happy. Balanced.  Then come the days where everything seems to go wrong.  Your back muscles tighten from the stress.  Maybe you break out into a nervous sweat.  You’re overcome by feelings of anxiety and despair.  Knowing just a little bit about the chakras can help you restore the balance that’s lacking.

A great explanation from the website zenlama.com is paraphrased as follows: “Chakra” is derived from the Sankrit “wheel,” or taken a step further, a “whirling powerhouse of spinning energy”.   We have 7 of these major energy centers within our body, located in a vertical line along the spine.  This image shows where the 7 chakras are located in the body:

 7 chakras

An example showing how balancing the chakras can help improve our wellbeing:

Let's say you've been feeling on edge lately, unsafe, and anxious.  Those emotions are represented by the first chakra, the root chakra, located at the base of the spine. This root chakra imbalance might go beyond the emotions, and manifest itself with physical symptoms, like an upset stomach, or lower back pain.  Yoga poses like mountain pose, or eating earthy foods, like carrots and other root vegetables, can help balance this chakra.  There are also several gemstones that balance this chakra, like hematite, red garnet and red jasper. 

Like the root chakra, each chakra energy center has different emotions and physical sensations associated with it.  If one chakra is off, it can put your whole body off kilter, physically and emotionally. 

Of course, we all come from different faith and cultural backgrounds.  Even if you don’t “believe” in the chakras, here’s the universal take-away:

Taking the time to turn inward and reflect on what’s going wrong (or right) in your life, pinpoint where that's coming from, then finding a solution to restore balance, is a powerful action we can all take to become the best version of ourselves. 

The chakras simply provide a clear roadmap to accomplish this.  Wearing gemstone bracelets that represent a certain chakra can be a meaningful way to focus on a certain skill or behavior (for example, turquoise for the throat chakra, if you often give oral presentations or love to sing).  Or wear all 7 chakra stones to keep your life in balance.  You can view the SoulShine chakra balancing collection here, or browse all designs to find one meaningful to you.

Here's a list of the 7 chakras with their corresponding gemstones:

7 chakras gemstones and meanings

If you're intrigued and want to learn more about the chakras, here are some great resources (& my favorite chakra-inspired apparel!):

All about chakra gemstones

Introductory guide to the 7 chakras

7 foods to heal 7 chakras

Chakra yoga tops and pants from Lily Lotus

Chakra tank from Jala Clothing

Chakra diamond leggings from Om Shanti 



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